NHL Trade Deadline players to watch include Hall, Bennett, Ekholm

thumbnail
Forwards

Sam Bennett, Calgary Flames

Reports surfaced earlier this season that Bennett requested a trade, though that was under coach Geoff Ward, who was fired and replaced by Darryl Sutter on March 4. The 24-year-old center has not produced and has seen his role decline; he can become a restricted free agent after this season.

Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings

The Kings’ all-time leader in games played has one season remaining on his contract, and Los Angeles is in a rebuild. The 36-year-old right wing is having a good offensive season and brings leadership as a former captain, as well as a winning pedigree as a two-time Stanley Cup champion (2012, 2014).

Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres captain is out with an upper-body injury and has scored two goals in 21 games this season. But there would be no shortage of suitors for the center if he is made available with Buffalo in last place in the MassMutual East Division. The 24-year-old has scored at least 24 goals in each of his five full NHL seasons but is in the third season of an eight-year, $80 million contract ($10 million average annual value), which could keep him from being traded.

Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets captain can become an unrestricted free agent after this season. Foligno can score, play on the power play or penalty kill, block shots and provide a physical presence. The 33-year-old left wing would be among the best rental players if available.

Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks

Ducks general manager Bob Murray said the only way the 35-year-old center would be traded is if he asks to be. Getzlaf, Anaheim’s longest-tenured player (16 seasons), won the Cup with the Ducks in 2007 and could request a trade for another shot at a championship. His offense may have slipped, but he is still a playmaker who is valuable on the power play, in the face-off circle and in the locker room. Getzlaf can become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

Mikael Granlund, Nashville Predators

A two-time 20-goal scorer, Granlund scored 17 in 63 games last season but has struggled this season. The 29-year-old, who can become an unrestricted free agent after this season, would make a good second- or third-line center for a team needing depth at the position. He has also played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs each of the past seven seasons.

Taylor Hall, Buffalo Sabres

The 29-year-old signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Sabres on Oct. 11 and has struggled with two goals in 32 games. But the left wing is a Hart Trophy winner voted as NHL MVP in 2018 and has scored 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in 14 playoff games. He can become an unrestricted free agent after this season and Buffalo likely will seek to move him to a contender for prospects or draft picks.

Video: BUF@NYI: Hall cleans up rebound past Sorokin

Anthony Mantha, Detroit Red Wings

Mantha is a good option for teams in need of scoring help. He was limited because of injuries last season but scored 38 points (16 goals, 22 assists) in 43 games and is a two-time 20-goal scorer. The 26-year-old right wing would not be a rental; he has three seasons remaining on his contract.

Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks

The 41-year-old center is seeking his first championship and could be moved prior to the deadline like he was last season, when the Sharks traded him to the Pittsburgh Penguins before signing him to a one-year contract in free agency. If San Jose’s all-time leader in games played, points and goals is traded, he likely would be a fourth-line role player on a contending team because of his limited production. Marleau is a pending unrestricted free agent.

Kyle Palmieri, New Jersey Devils

The 30-year-old right wing can become an unrestricted free agent after this season. With the Devils out of the playoff picture, he could be a fit for teams looking for scoring. Palmieri has scored at least 24 goals in each of the past five seasons and scored 11 power-play goals in four of them.

Rickard Rakell, Anaheim Ducks

Rakell has finished among the Ducks’ top three scorers in each of the past three seasons. The 27-year-old left wing scored 33 and 34 goals in back-to-back seasons from 2016-18 and likely would add offensive punch with a change of scenery, given that Anaheim ranks among the NHL’s lowest-scoring teams. Rakell has one season remaining on his contract.

Defensemen

Vince Dunn, St. Louis Blues

The 24-year-old can become a restricted free agent after this season. The Blues are deep at defenseman, with several prospects in the pipeline. Dunn is an offensive threat who is durable and won the Stanley Cup with St. Louis in 2019. 

Video: STL@VGK: Dunn ties the game 1-1 with seeing-eye shot

Mattias Ekholm, Nashville Predators

Ekholm is capable of putting up points (at least 30 in four of the past five seasons) and plays on the power play as well as the penalty kill. The 30-year-old, who has one season remaining on his contract, would be a solid addition for any team needing a top-four defenseman.

Shayne Gostisbehere, Philadelphia Flyers

The 27-year-old has two seasons remaining on his contract. Gostisbehere has seen his offense decline, has been scratched several times this season and could benefit from a fresh start. 

Dmitry Kulikov, New Jersey Devils

Kulikov is a physical presence who hits, blocks shots and plays big minutes on the penalty kill. The 30-year-old is a pending unrestricted free agent and would be a good fit for a playoff contender.

Rasmus Ristolainen, Buffalo Sabres

He has scored at least 33 points in each of the past five seasons, including at least 17 power-play points four times. In addition to his offense, the 26-year-old, who can become an unrestricted free agent after next season, is among the Buffalo leaders in hits and blocks. Ristolainen’s teammate Brandon Montour, a 26-year-old pending unrestricted free agent, is also a potential trade candidate.

David Savard, Columbus Blue Jackets

Savard has played his entire 10-season NHL career with the Blue Jackets and has been a big part of their success in that span, but could be traded if Columbus falls out of the playoff picture. The 30-year-old can become an unrestricted free agent after this season, and his physical play and veteran leadership could make him attractive to teams needing depth on the blue line. 

Goalies

Jonathan Bernier, Detroit Red Wings

The pending unrestricted free agent likely will be traded to a contender in need of goalie depth. Bernier has put up good numbers on a struggling Red Wings team and also brings playoff experience (nine games). The 32-year-old won the Stanley Cup with the Kings in 2012 as Jonathan Quick‘s backup, though he did not play in the postseason.

Chris Driedger, Florida Panthers

Sergei Bobrovsky has five seasons remaining on his contract, so the Panthers could decide to move Driedger. The 26-year-old is among the NHL leaders in goals-against average and save percentage, and can become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

Devan Dubnyk, San Jose Sharks

The 34-year-old can become an unrestricted free agent after this season, and the Sharks may decide to give prospect Alexei Melnichuk a chance. Teams will be interested in Dubnyk, who had at least 31 wins in four straight seasons from 2015-19, and he will be easier to move than Martin Jones, who has three seasons remaining on his contract.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top
Bitnami